What is Search Engine Optimization?
Optimization is the process of improving the volume of traffic to a web site delivered by search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN).
Google, MSN Search and Yahoo dominate, with a combined market share of over 90% for search engines. Google dominates, being used for over 70% of internet searches.
The higher your website ranks on a search engine, the more searchers will visit your site. The goal of optimizing is to make your site more visible to the search engines and climb the rankings.
When your website is completed, it should be hand submitted to all the major search engines. You only need search engine submission once. There is no need to pay extortionate monthly fees to search engine experts.
Be wary of services charging a monthly subscription for search engine submission. We have seen clients paying hundreds of dollars annually for unnecessary "search engine submission" services.
Most good search engines, such as Google and Yahoo, will regularly visit your site and "cache" (store) your files. Once your website is listed, it will remain listed unless you violate any of the search engine's policies.
It is important to remember that your site's ranking will vary from day to day. We have seen a site, ranking in the top 10 Google results, suddenly drop down to a lower ranking It moved back into the top 10 rankings within a few weeks. The only way to maintain consistent ranking for your website, is to maintain a consistent marketing and SEO strategy online.
What is a SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO) Campaign?
When doing an SEO campaign there are many methods and techniques SEO experts employ. These techniques will fall within “white hat” (approved of by search engines) and “black hat” methods (not approved by search engines). Black hat methods are techniques employed to trick the search engines and to gain fast results or ranking. These results however, are short-lived and can often get your site banned from the search engines.
White Hat vs Black Hat SEO
White hat SEO strategies follow ethical business practices and are approved of by search engines. They build trust and respect in your business. You’re developing a brand online, and by developing valuable and relevant content for visitors and prospective customers, you will improve your ranking and credibility with both people and search engines overtime. True web marketing takes a lot of time and work – by people, not automated tools or fast and quick “fixes” promised by many unscrupulous SEO firms you’ll find online.
Black hat SEO techniques are commonly employed by unethical SEO companies. They are designed to get you fast results – and get the SEO company fast and easy money. They usually promise you results in 30-60 days (because that is possible when using these techniques). But they are not around to take responsibility when your site is banned from search engines, or when your site disappears in the ranking a few weeks after your SEO campaign ends. These black hat SEO companies make big and bold claims, with vague lists of techniques they will use to “SEO” your site. One of these is by stating they will create 1000 or more “links” to your site every month.
If you want to know if these are legitimate "links", ask your SEO company to show you the links they are producing (they often will state that they can’t do this, that it’s “proprietary information”). What are they doing then? They are either not doing anything at all, or they are paying a low wage worker in Asia to deliver hundreds of comments to blogs with a link to your site (spamming). The comments are typical one or two line, “I like your site” type of comments. Once those comments are identified by the receiver as spam, or denied, or the blog post gets archived, your link disappears.
While producing 1000 links in a short period of time may sound great and just might increase your website rank fast — you run the risk of being identified by search engines as a site that is generating spam. And, these techniques are very short-lived.
You can’t maintain ranking in search engines using these types of tactics. By the time your site has disappeared from the rankings, your SEO company has also disappeared. Or, they’ll tell you to sign up for a new contract (pay them again). They’ll employ the same techniques until your site is eventually discovered by search engines as using black hat techniques. Search engines are continually improving their algorithms so they can identify websites that attempt to trick them, and they ban or penalize those sites. Once banned, you’ll most likely have to abandon that domain name and start over.
Stay away from SEO companies that offer:
1. automated tools
2. hundreds of submissions to search engines
3. hundreds or thousands of “back links” to your site within a short period of time
4. a promise of a high ranking for your main keywords
5. a low cost or "fast" SEO campaign (30-60 days)
Good SEO strategies are employed over a longer period of time.
The best SEO techniques to use, which will help you achieve long–lasting results, include:
1. building a properly structured website
2. providing good and relevant information on your website
3. increasing the size of your site by building pages with content and internal and external links
4. writing and posting articles and blogs on your site
5. submitting your articles to article directories
6. engaging in social media
7. gaining strong and relevant back links to your site
8. employing consistent marketing strategies
9. getting appropriate and relevant back links to your site.
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